SHOALHAVEN City Council has threatened to withdraw from the restoration of the Crookhaven lighthouse without even seeking funding from the state government.
South Coast MP Shelley Hancock has revealed in a letter to council general manager Russ Pigg that council had not formally requested further funding for the project.
At its September 3 meeting, council moved a motion not to accept responsibility for the future management and maintenance of Crookhaven lighthouse until the NSW government provided a budget to fully fund its restoration and maintenance.
Mrs Hancock revealed that apart from $100,000 in funding from the former state government, council had not made any other applications for funding or contacted her office requesting assistance in obtaining further funds.
“To date, council is yet to formally request further funding, make application under government programs such as the Community Building Partnerships Program or contact my office requesting assistance in obtaining further funds.”
Council’s strategic planning manager Gordon Clark said council had not applied for funding for the lighthouse because it was not a council asset.
“The lighthouse is not a council asset and is not on land council has care, control or management of,” he said.
“The actual lighthouse has its own small parcel of land that still comes under control of the Crown Lands Department.
“Council does look after the rest of the Crookhaven Headland but not the parcel of land on which the lighthouse is located.
“So in terms of requesting money, that should probably come through the Crown Lands Department.
“The notion of council applying for money to restore the lighthouse also implies that we will take on its care, control and management into the future. Council has to be clear about not actually inheriting a liability.”
Some time ago it was estimated that the refurbishment of the lighthouse would be in the vicinity of $260,000.
“That was just to upgrade it, not its ongoing maintenance,” Mr Clark said.
“Council does not have any money allocated or budgeted for that maintenance and would it be appropriate for council to fund something that is not in its ownership?”
Mr Clark said council was still keen to work with the state government in an attempt to get the lighthouse refurbished.